Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Jewel Collection of the Romanovs

In 1613 Michael Romanov, the first Tsar of the Romanov Dynasty was crowned.

In 1719, Tsar Peter the Great founded the earliest version of what is now known as the Russian Federation's State Diamond Fund. He placed all of the regalia in this fund and declared that the state holdings were inviolate, and could not be altered, sold, or given away. The Romanovs had one of the most impressive jewellery collections ever assembled. None of the current Houses, not even the British, can match the former splendor of the Romanov Court.
The House of Romanov was the second imperial dynasty, after the Rurik dynasty, to rule over Russia, reigning from 1613 until the abdication of Emperor Nicholas II on March 15, 1917, as a result of the Revolution.

Photograph of the Romanov treasures taken by the Bolsheviks.
The Empress Maria Feodorovna. is depicted wearing a parure in the famous portrait by Konstantin Makovsky.

Emperor Nicholas II and many members of his extended family were executed by Bolsheviks in 1918 and it is believed that no member survived, ending the main line definitively.
The Soviets looted the Romanov collections of art, jewelry, furniture and books. In the 1920s and ’30s foreigners could browse and buy the treasures from the Communist government.

Much of the Romanov legacy (including Faberge eggs and other cultural treasures) were broken up, melted down and sold for scrap – with the proceeds disappearing.
Curators are now tracking down scattered imperial possessions. More material has recently surfaced from palaces and even the Romanov family’s assassination site at Yekaterinburg, Russia. A pearl-and-diamond earring rescued in 1918 from the crime scene. It belonged to Czarina Alexandra. It was long kept at the Russian Orthodox Church on Park Avenue at 93rd Street, New York.

Just one earring was retrieved from the evidence trail of carnage in the woods.
The family’s former possessions regularly turn up on the auction market. In November 2013 at a sale of Romanov books and memorabilia at Christie’s in London, a heartbreaking batch of 1910s postcards that Nicholas and Alexandra’s four daughters sent to a friend brought $30,000.


See -------> http://pennystockjournal.blogspot.ca/2014/01/seven-stones-in-russian-diamond-fund.html
See -------> http://pennystockjournal.blogspot.ca/2013/03/the-lost-faberge-eggs.html


Sunday, 18 October 2015

Rare Collector Orchids good as Gold

According to detectives it was a professional job and the thieves, who left no trace, knew exactly what they were after. Bearing all the hallmarks of an audacious art gallery heist this was the scene at Kew Gardens in 2014 where a rare African water lily was snatched. It is now thought to have been sold to an unscrupulous private collector on the growing black market for stolen plants.
The legal plant trade amounts to £9 billion a year worldwide. Dr Richard Thomas says: “There is a kudos in owning anything rare. Although it’s impossible to give precise figures for plants there is a limited but thriving black market involving fanatical but unscrupulous private collectors. If someone wants a species badly enough they will pay vast amounts of money.”
Monkeyface orchid

Hochstetter Butterfly Orchid
Rare and new discoveries of wild plants are most prized sending collectors into a frenzy and it’s feared that some species are being driven to the brink of extinction by over-harvesting.

One of the world’s rarest orchids was re-discovered in 2014 by British botanists on a volcanic island in the Atlantic. There were only 250 plants of the unique species on the island of Sao Jorge in the Portuguese Azores, making it the rarest in Europe.

Bee Orchid

Lady's Slipper orchids

The albino form of the Vanda sanderiana or the Waling-waling is a rare and prized plant for orchid collectors and breeders.

Bulbophyllum kubahense

Phragmipedium kovachii was first found in 2001 and is referred to as one of the most important natural history discoveries of the last decade.

Cypripedium calceolus. It receives round-the-clock police surveillance where it grows on a Lancashire golf course.

Paphiopedilum rothschildianum, an orchid that is on top of the endangered species list.
The contemporary orchid-breeding business in Taiwan and its main rival, the Netherlands, centers on the Phalaenopsis, or the moth orchid.

In Victorian Europe, orchid hunters, hired by wealthy collectors, sometimes killed each other in pursuit of new breeds.

Bornean slipper orchid

Shenzhen Nongke orchid was developed in the lab by agricultural research corporation Shenzhen Nongke Group. The orchid took eight years to develop and in 2005, it was sold for about $ 200,000.



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Sunday, 4 October 2015

Nanodiamonds

Nanodiamonds are tiny crystals only a few nanometers in size. While they possess the crystalline structure of diamonds, their properties diverge considerably from those of their big brothers because their surfaces play a dominant role in comparison to their extremely small volumes.

Suspended in aqueous solutions, they could function as taxis for active substances in biomedical applications, or be used as catalysts for splitting water.
Researchers have, for the first time, levitated individual nanodiamonds in vacuum. Nanodiamonds trapped at atmospheric pressure are continuously agitated by collisions with the air molecules around them. Trapping the diamonds in vacuum removes the effect of all these air molecules.

"This allows us to exert mechanical control over them," said Levi Neukirch, lead author of the paper.

"They turn into little harmonic oscillators."
One of the most promising ways to capture, generate and manipulate photons is with nanodiamonds. The secret is to create nanodiamonds with a defect in their structure where a nitrogen atom has taken the place of a carbon.

Quantum physicists are interested in these so-called nitrogen vacancies because they can capture, store and emit the quantum information that photons carry. What’s more, they do all this at room temperature. It is even possible to manipulate this information using magnetic and electric fields.

According to a study featured in Nature Nanotechnology, the possible uses of nanodiamonds are endless. Nanodiamonds have excellent mechanical and optical properties, high surface areas and tunable surface structures. They are also non-toxic, which makes them well suited to biomedical applications. “These little gems have a wide range of potential applications in tribology, drug delivery, bioimaging and tissue engineering, and also as protein mimics and a filler material for nanocomposites”.

Nanodiamonds have been used as catalysts in scientific experiments, seeding material for cultivating diamond films, additives for automobile oils, galvanic coatings and polishing compounds.

Nanodiamonds have made the most headlines for their potential use in fighting cancer.
Nanodiamonds could be the solution for dealing with chemoresistant cancer stem cells, according to a study published in ACS Nano. A team of researchers has repurposed existing chemotherapy drugs into effective agents against chemoresistant cancer stem cells with nanotechnology.
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Sediments found beneath the floor of Lake Cuitzeo in central Mexico support theories of a major cosmic impact event 12,900 years ago. A 13,000-year-old layer of sediment contains materials associated with impact events, such as soot, impact spherules and nanodiamonds.

The nanodiamonds found at Lake Cuitzeo are of a variety known as lonsdaleite, even harder than “regular” diamond and only found naturally as the result of impact events.
It’s thought that a large asteroid or comet entered Earth’s atmosphere at a shallow angle 12,900 years ago, melting rocks and causing widespread destruction. This event would have occurred just before a period of unusually cold climate known as the Younger Dryas.

The only other widespread sedimentary layer ever found to contain such an abundance of nanodiamonds is found at the K-T boundary, 65 million years ago. This corresponds to the impact event that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs.



See ----->http://pennystockjournal.blogspot.ca/2015/06/friction-banished-by-coating-diamonds.html
See ----->http://pennystockjournal.blogspot.ca/2014/06/diamond-set-to-sparkle-for.html
See ----->http://pennystockjournal.blogspot.ca/2014/10/titanium-based-batteries-next-big-thing.html